Do you want to take your music to the next level?
What does that look like for you?
Maybe it means getting that EP done that you’ve been working on for the last several months.
Maybe it means working harder on your tones and sounds to create a better production.
Or maybe it means facing your fears and getting up in front of a crowd to play some of your stuff.
Whatever it is, I’ve been reminded more and more lately of one thing that will make your music improve instantly, and make the process so much more fun:
Yes, that’s right. Working on your music with other musicians. Imagine that.
Probably one of the most dangerous things I’ve encountered as a home studio guy is the fact that I can do it all myself. I can sit in my studio, all by myself, and make great music.
And that’s awesome.
But I’ve come to learn that so many good things happen when I work with other musicians.
1. Creative Input
Man, this is huge.
So much good can happen when you get input from others.
Consider this example:
Lately I’ve been struggling a bit to determine what I want to do next in my music.
I released my first EP at the end of last year, and I’m really happy about that. I launched this blog, which has been a ton of fun. I finally got a couple videos online, and there’s definitely going to be more to come.
But I’ve been feeling a little stuck. What’s the next project? What can I do to move forward musically, hone my skills, and also generate great content for Indie Artist Lounge?
Well, after fussing to myself about it for a week or two, I hopped on skype with my buddy Drue. Awesome guy by the way. Check out his stuff on soundcloud. I’m hoping that he’ll have some more good music coming out soon, so give him a follow while you’re there.
Anyway, just talking to him and getting his input was invaluable. He helped me to gain perspective, think through some options, and make a plan for moving forward.
This type of creative input can happen in so many ways.
When I start pre-production on my new album, I’m planning to have other people involved. Probably will have other people record some instruments for me as well.
Even if you end up doing all of the recording myself, having someone else to bounce ideas off of is super helpful. It will get your productions and your songs to a level that you could not attain on your own.
2. Other people can do things you can’t
This is a more obvious benefit to collaboration, but needs to be said.
If you’re not very good at playing electric guitar, for example, find someone who’s better than you.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to hire somebody. Chances are, if you’re a musician, you know other musicians, and I’m sure some of them would be willing to work on a project for you, just for the sheer fun of it.
Even if you can do everything yourself, doesn’t necessarily mean that you should. I think you’ll find that your music will benefit if you bring others into it, especially if they’re doing things that they’re better at.
3. It’s less lonely
Let’s be honest. Music is meant to be made together.
When I had my EP release concert, I could have done it myself.
Just me and my guitar. Up on stage. All by myself.
But man, I got three other musicians to join me, and it was such a blast!
Same with the studio. Same with your productions.
It’s so much more fun when you make music with other people.
And that’s the whole point, isn’t it? To make music, do what we love, and have a great time doing it.
I’m probably going to get started on my next EP pretty soon. Just need to finish up some songwriting.
And you can bet that I’m going to get other musicians involved in the creative process. Because I know that my music will be so much better if I do.
How about you? How can you get someone else involved in your current project? Do you think it’s a good idea? Leave a comment and tell me what you think!
P.S. If you’re looking for a great place to meet other musicians, and improve your mixing skills, check out Dueling Mixes.
Not only is it a great training resource, but it also has an active community where you can give and receive feedback, get involved in conversations, and meet other home studio musicians like yourself.
If you’re interested, go take a look. After you sign up, come introduce yourself in the forums. I’d love to see you there!
2 thoughts on “The Key to Taking Your Music to the Next Level”
Thanks Alex for the great article and the kick in the butt I needed to get my mind rolling onto my next project. I just recently released my debut album ‘Chasing Daylight’. Ten songs, all original, full band production, and I did it all myself. I learned a ton by doing it all myself but to be honest, it WAS a bit lonely like you said. I’m extremely proud of what I did and humbled by the support I’ve received so far. It was an incredible learning experience and I’m looking forward to beginning the process again on another album.
I’m looking forward to hearing more of your work Alex, reading your blog, and whenever you need ideas bounced off somebody, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re all in this together!
Yes, I saw that you released your album! That’s so exciting! I’m definitely going to check it out 🙂
Yup, I did my EP all by myself too. As you said, learned a lot. But yeah, having others involved is super helpful. I’m at least going to have some people involved in the preproduction stages. Probably recording too. I’ll do a bunch of it myself, but I’m hoping to have some other instruments going on that I definitely *can’t* do myself, which will force me to go out there and record other musicians!
Thanks for the encouragement man. Glad you’ve been enjoying the blog, and I’m glad this article was helpful for you 🙂